Jan – The Cove….#124 (the 60’s)

Gary, Jerry and Jan

The Holiday Inn West access to Interstate 40 enabled residency for the many  whom traversed the highways of discovery pitching a diversity of occupational endeavors.  Their weekday nightly patronage of the Pirates Cove provided Jan and Gary not only a sense of accomplishment but one of satisfaction.   Another benefactor of the Meridian Ave. location was Oklahoma City’s Mike Monroney FAA Center providing edification for air-traffic control and flight-instructors, the professionals and students from across the nation in attendance,  the assemblage also contributing to the Pirates Cove’s nightly capacity.

As the months progressed the two acknowledging a steady increase in regular city customers thru the work week and with the addition of Jerry Willis on weekends it was a thriving success.  Attorney Leo Thompson, a alumnae  of the University of Oklahoma College of Law was a fixture at the piano-bar weekday nights, it was obviously  he was captivated with Jan was who was young enough to be his daughter,  never failing to tip and request his perfunctory favor song, ” Till There Was You”.   Jan mentioning that on occasions Leo would insist on donning her with gifts, and from Leo’s cordial and father like demeanor the pianist was confident that their relationship was paternal.   Gary was somewhat puzzled about Ron another piano-bar regular, a slight bi-speckled,  self-proclaimed NASA engineer,  whom the pianist had questionable doubts until Bob Henderson the Inn’s front desk night clerk approached the piano bar to inform Ron of a message,  Gary able to over-hear  ” Someone called from the airport, the planes ready for your return to Houston”.

The pianist life at the Cove becoming one of unanimity,  working with Jan was like a working with a family member, the two able to communicate because of their analogous propensity in their music.  Gary never ceased to be amazed with Jan’s photogenic lyrical memory, Glen Campbell having just released a big hit, “Gentle On My Mind” , the young lady able to recall the lyrics in one sitting, especially the tongue tying last verse…

.        I dip my cup of soup back from a gurgling, crackling cauldron in some train yard
.             My beard a roughened coal pile and a dirty hat pulled low across my face
.       Through cupped hands round a tin can I pretend to hold you to my breast and find
.            That you’re wavin’ from the backroads by the rivers of my mem’ry
.       Ever smiling, ever gentle on my mind

Apparently talent was an inherit quality,  the Pirates Cover being introduced to Jan’s younger Sister Joy, who like her sister demonstrated a quality stage presence, exhibiting her vocal talent with a acoustical guitar.   The two sister somewhat contradictory in physical stature, Jan very petite, Joy a statuesque blonde proclaiming a flavor of the  hippie generation sporting a Haight-Ashbury wardrobe.  Gary confirming, although the two were about the same age, but there was a mindset generational gap,  Joy mentioning she was having difficulties having a pay phone installed in her apartment.  When ask why, she said it was just a way of expressing herself.  The two sisters, both graduates of Midwest City High School, diametric in personality, however they blossomed when vocalizing together,  a perfect harmony.

It was during an evening presentation break that Gary and Jan were approached by an emporeutic person inquiring about their exigency for sheet music and if they might be interested in what he had to offer.   The pianist questioning his mitigation, the two accompanying the person outside to the parking lot, accordingly viewing the opening of the trunk of his car.  Displayed were stacks of bound music manuscripts,  better known in the music world as fake books.   Gary having never seen such a wealth of music, each books containing over 1000 songs with lyrics, chords and a single note melody line.  A gold mine of opportunity was thought to have been discovered until the price for each was acknowledged.   The pianist exploring the mother lode find, setting three large volumes,  standards,  show tunes, current hits aside, then because of the price having reconcile himself to obtaining a single volume.  Jan who had briefly departed, reemerged with club owner Herb Carpenter in tow,  excitingly espousing the find to Herbie,  the club owner without hesitation according the full cost of their selections.

  Gary discovering the comradery at the cove many of the local weekend customers were married couples becoming regulars also on weekday nights making lasting acquaintances of sales and company reps whose base was Oklahoma City. The Cove, a life experience in the making.

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One Response to “Jan – The Cove….#124 (the 60’s)”

  1. papillonsj2013 Says:

    Loved this one Gary…so it was Jan’s body you stole to make me look glamorous a while back?!

    You make me feel so guilty…I should be getting my own stories up online…have an account…no excuse!! Hugs, Sue

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